samedi 23 octobre 2010

T is for Television

Ce n’est pas ma tasse de thé — It’s not my cup of tea

We were woken at 2am by a text message from Orange telling me I can follow Secret Story (the French version of Big Brother) via my mobile phone. Thanks for that.

French TV is not that great. There are a lot of dubbed American and UK programmes: Midsommer Murders turns up as Inspecteur Barnaby, Law and Order UK has become London District, and Lewis remains Lewis. Sorry, but there’s something about John Nettles speaking French that doesn’t quite gel. We did get enthusiastic about trailers for the French version of Masterchef, but then discovered each episode was three hours long.

On Saturdays at prime time on one channel they invariably show an episode of Columbo from 1973. A bit like Murder She Wrote in the UK, you seem always to be able to catch on episode of Columbo whenever you turn on the TV.

We enjoyed a French version of Treasure Hunt (anyone remember Anneka Rice and the helicopter?), which was quite good as you got to see lots of lovely scenery, but that seems to have disappeared and the presenter now appears in adverts selling ham.

I don’t think I have quite tuned into the French sense of humour, which involves a lot of slapstick, shouting and invariably men dressing up as women and singing. Or perhaps I’ve just been watching the wrong programmes.

The good thing is that you generally know where you are. The news is always on at 8pm, regardless of the World Cup, weekends or any other distractions. On Channel 1, from Monday to Friday, the news is always preceded by a game show along the lines of The Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune or Family Fortunes. These too involve an awful lot of shouting — on the part of the presenters, one of whom seems always to be accompanied by a dog.

You pay for your TV licence as part of the French equivalent of Council Tax, which seems to be a good idea and would probably save a lot of money if they adopted the same system in the UK. Mr Osborne please note. If you don’t have a TV, that’s just your bad luck. But you can always go and blockade a road or two in protest.

2 commentaires:

  1. French TV freaks me out; there is one channel that on the weekends seems to show only MacGuyver and The A Team non stop, and maybe a Law & Order.
    And I feel so bad for that dog on the game shows, I think he's being held captive by that weird guy.

  2. I just hope the dog isn't a forgotten prize!